primitive characteristics questions

Lab Report

Name: ____________________
Section: ___________________

Primate Characteristics
Exercise 1 – Opposable Thumb
Perform the everyday tasks in Data Table 1, with and without the use of your opposable thumb.
You will determine if the task is easier with or without the opposability of the thumb, or it
opposability of the thumb did not have any impact on your ability to perform the task. Place an
“X” under the column that was the most successful for each task.
Data Table 1 - Tasks with and without opposable thumb
Place an “X” under one column for each task.
With opposable
thumb did not
impact ability
to perform task
Pick up a piece of clothing
Pick up a book or magazine
Turn book or magazine pages one at
a time
Pick up a pen or pencil
Write your name on a sheet of paper
Peel a banana (optional)
Remove the cap from a marker or
Place the cap on a marker or bottle
Untie shoelaces
Tie shoelaces
1. How many tasks were more difficult to perform without an opposable thumb?

2. How many tasks were easier to perform with an opposable thumb?

3. How many tasks were not impacted by the use of an opposable thumb?
4. Which task was the most difficult to perform with your opposable thumbs immobilized?


Specifically, what about this task was challenging, and how was it easier to perform with the
use of your opposable thumbs?

5. Was dexterity or grasping ability most impacted when your opposable thumbs were
immobilized? Explain your answer.

6. Many primates have opposability in their big toe in addition to their thumbs. How do you
think your daily life would be impacted in Homo sapiens had opposability in their big toes?

7. What animals beside primates have opposable thumbs and/or toes?

Exercise 2: Bipedalism
After performing the activities in the quadrupled stance and bipedal stance, answer the following
1. What were the difficulties you experienced in moving as a quadruped?

2. What muscles were uncomfortable while moving around as a quadruped? Explain why
these muscles bothered you more.

3. What everyday tasks do you think would become more challenging if Homo sapiens were
full-time quadrupeds instead of full-time bipeds? Explain your answers.

4. What movement or tasks do you think would become easier and less challenging if Homo
sapiens were full-time quadrupeds instead of full-time bipeds? Explain your answers.